Our YA Authors Help Get Out the Vote with #firstvote16

first votePenguin Random House Young Adult authors E. LockhartGayle Forman and Libba Bray  launched the #firstvote16 campaign on National Voter Registration Day last week. “We all care about this election and the future of our country and we got the idea to try to reach out to the first-time voters in the audience for YA literature, demystifying the process and encouraging young people to let their voices be heard,” Ms. Lockhart told Publishers Weekly.

(left to right) E. Lockhart, Gayle Forman and Libba Bray

(left to right) E. Lockhart, Gayle Forman and Libba Bray

In addition to the original trio, the #firstvote16 campaign has recruited more authors, including Margaret Stohl, Melissa de la Cruz and Kami Garcia. Author and publisher David Levithan, who oversees the NYC Teen Author Festival, came aboard with his roster of contacts, and the team at We Need Diverse Books added their contact list to the mix.

They also partnered with Rock the Vote to create a special destination page where people can register online and provide information on the concerns of young voters

Along the way, Ms. Lockhart took note of others’ likeminded efforts: “We loved the work Hank and John Green were doing on getting out the vote – Hank is partnered with YouTube to create voter information videos for all 50 states – and we love Tumblr’s voter registration widget.”

Ms. Lockhart describes the #firstvote16 campaign as nonpartisan and humorous, and says that it acknowledges that voting can be daunting. Bottom line: “It is meant to be empowering, a little cheeky, fun to watch, and to drive young people to register and to vote.”

Read the complete #firstvote16 Publishers Weekly article here.

Posted: October 5, 2016